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New York Legislature to Vote on Boycott of Arizona

At a press conference at noon in Albany today, Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV of Harlem and members of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force will announce a resolution calling for a statewide boycott of Arizona in response to its new, highly controversial illegal-immigration law. Powell tells us that the resolution — which will urge the state government, as well as private companies, to avoid doing business with the state of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses — "probably" has enough support to pass, and expects it to be voted on in the Assembly, and possibly the Senate as well, on Monday. The resolution isn't legally binding, but will instead serve as a "symbolic appeal." (When pressed as to whether legally binding legislation was possible, Powell noted that it's been done with respect to apartheid South Africa, and said he would "do a little research.") Though it's unclear how much commerce actually takes place between the states currently, Powell hopes that New York's boycott — which would be the nation's first at the state level, voluntary or not — will inspire other states to act. "We hope to actually start a movement," he told us. "Hopefully, this will create a domino effect, so many other states and other jurisdictions at the local level will also follow."

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Photo: AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano